Welcome to My Quest
Unity In Diversity.|
Unity Is Diversity.
What a short, strange trip its been!
The Mountain of Truth
This parable can be viewed in my video section
Back in the mid 1970's, I once spent three months alone living in a cave high in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Georgia. This was part of my ongoing quest. I had determined to follow in the Buddha's noble footsteps and remain there until death or enlightenment.
What I did receive however were many fond memories and the following parable. Now, don't write in telling me I am guilty of plagiarism! This tale is doubtless inspired by the famous Swami Vivekananda parable; I admit it! However in the quietude of my cave it was transformed and became my own. Besides, as scripture says,
"There is nothing new under the sun!"
When I first began my quest for the Truth, I was told that It could be found on the top of a high mountain in a far off land. I was so excited! I promptly sold everything I owned and headed off for that supreme summit.
In time I reached the Mountain of Truth and began to climb.
As I ascended its often barren terrain, I beheld a multitude of Paths, some going one way, some another. From time to time, a fellow traveler would call over from one of the other trails, "Hey! You're on the wrong Path!"
Assuming the warning was accurate, for what did I know? I would change my course and join others in climbing the Mountain of Truth as they thought best, moving ever upwards. In time however, we would inevitably separate and I would continue my quest alone.
Sooner or later another traveler would warn me, "Hey, you should be on this Path!" So again, I'd move onto another Path and for a time it seemed good.
In time I became convinced that all of the various Paths were heading more or less in the same direction. Each Way had places where the going was easy, these resting places were wide and inviting. In these havens, I could join with others following their diverse Paths and together celebrate the joy of our faith.
However, each Path also had other places which were quite demanding, and at times foreboding. These held no fascination to me at all! In these areas, I had to climb alone, without human support. At times it seemed as though even the Spirit of God had deserted me as I passed through these dark nights of the soul, though in hindsight such was never the case. These places were like dark and uncharted tunnels through which all questers had to pass time and again. Seemingly, it made no difference which Path I was on. Spiritual advancement without these periods was not possible. Once I realized this, I began to hop merrily to and fro from Path to Path as though it made no difference whatsoever. When, from time to time, my Pathway grew dark I plodded along unconcerned, assured that there was always light just ahead. In this way I spent many pleasant years in the company of diverse spiritual people, experiencing the Mountain of Truth through their eyes, as best I could.
Then one day I finally arrived at the summit! My heart pounded in my chest, I began to perspire. The hairs on my neck stood up. Could it be I'd finally made it? I felt utterly high and transcendentally exalted. I had attained enlightenment! Self Realization! I was saved! Hallelujah!
So it was that in ecstasy inch by inch I pulled myself up onto the plateau and finally laid prostrate on the grass well spent. Finally, I lifted my eyes triumphantly... I looked out into the distance... and there... I saw... the Goal of my life's quest...
There in the distance, seated under a scraggly banyan tree, I beheld a great sage, a sadhu who looked like a Child of the Holy One. As I observed, I could not discern whether that holy being was male or female. He/She seemed ancient, yet ever young. Everything was simultaneously one and different.
I sprang to my feet and ran triumphantly toward the tree and its sole resident. I reached out my hands toward him/her, fell onto my face, crying out blissfully: "Baba-ji! Mata-ji! Abba! Mommy - Daddy!"
The ancient sadhu then slowly turned his head toward me with a look somewhere between disgust and compassion. The sage had been sitting with both legs crossed, in full lotus position, but then, as I waited expectantly, the left leg sprang forward like a viper, kicking me squarely between the eyes. Everything went brilliant, I was bathed in the colorless effulgence of Be-ing...
I reeled back, rejoiced, holy "shakti-pat!" I cried.
"Get off my mountain!" the old sadhu shouted hoarsely, a rigid arm pointing back in the direction from which I had come.
I was stunned. In absolute lack of understanding, I stared at him/her. "But..."
"Go find your own mountain!"
So that's what I did, and that's where you now are. Please, don't accept ANYTHING you find in these pages as the 'Gospel truth.' That illusive prize can only be found within yourself.
Rather, please, go find that mountain which is harmonious with your own inner nature. Then come back and we can visit and compare notes in a spirit of fellowship.
It's not that there is no Truth. Nor that everything is ultimately relative per se. Such statements are too yin or too yang. They are too dualistic. We must seek to realize the tao, the point where yin meets yang and yang meets yin, where feminine and masculine merge into a harmonious unnamable, indefinable Whole and hidden deeply within that place I am convinced one can discover the Truth.
Lessons Learned on the Mountain
They say that hindsight is 20/20. Above I have presented my experience in the cave, as I then understood it. In the intervening years, I have come to what I believe to be a fuller understanding of the Mountain. As I climbed the Mountain of Truth, I was never really alone. During those times when I rejoiced with other seekers I knew this, but during the alone periods, as my relationship with the Holy One developed, it was not always apparent. And yet someone was there with me all along.
In 1969 I devoted my life and heart to God and began climbing the Mountain of truth. There were times when the climb seemed too difficult for me, the gulfs to be crossed too wide. Although I did not always understand what was going on at the time, at these moments I was often carried by an unseen Companion across the great divides. In the lonely times, when I felt abandoned, that One was sitting right beside me and together we wept.
As time passed I gradually came to realize that by my own efforts I could never reach the desired goal. It was my gentle Companion who urged me to continue ever onward through the fog of my unknowing, else surely I would have given up the quest many times.
When, after many years of climbing, I finally collapsed exhausted, still at the base of God's Holy Mountain, this same constant companion placed a loving arm around my shoulder and said, "I've been with you all along! The desire of your heart is as close as your own breath! Simply receive It."
On the Mountain of Truth I learned many valuable lessons. I developed deeper respect for the world's religious and spiritual traditions and their practitioners and yet I also learned to view them as they are, not as I would have them be. Through them, I realized the degree to which people will go in their attempt to find and attain the truth. And yet despite all of our attempts, despite our austerities and self-imposed disciplines, there is One who walks with each of us every step of the way, encouraging us, supporting us. In the end, salvation, enlightenment, realization, call it what you will, is not so difficult to achieve. We need only turn our eyes to the Creator and receive what the multiverse has offered us all along."
No matter where you are on the Mountain of Truth, whether you are nearing one of its myriad peaks or are wandering in one of its countless valleys, God is there with you. Please turn to the maker of the Mountain, the lover of your soul. You'll never be alone again.
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